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Dealing with Fake Identities and Robocall Annoyances on Your Phone

When you receive a call from someone, either on a landline or mobile phone, you expect to see their number or maybe even their name displayed on your phone screen. It’s a useful feature that helps you identify the caller. Unfortunately, there are some people who take advantage of this feature. They use a technique called “spoofing” to modify the caller ID and conceal their true identity. Scam artists often make use of this method to trick you into answering their calls, making it more difficult to block unwanted calls.

Another annoyance plaguing phone users is the presence of robocalls. These are automated calls generated by computerized autodialers. You’ve probably encountered innocent yet persistent telemarketing calls or, worse, deceitful scams aimed at extracting personal information or your hard-earned money. Robocalls can be quite a nuisance, causing significant frustration.

How to Handle Calls from Unknown Numbers

Have you ever wondered what to do when you get a call from an unknown number? Well, there are actually a few things you can do to find out more about the caller. One option is to use a phone number lookup service like the one we provide at whocall.co.uk. These services have a feature called reverse phone lookup, where you can enter the number that called you into their website’s search engine. After doing so, the site will give you information about who the number belongs to. This can be really useful if you want to know the identity of the caller, especially if you’ve been getting calls from unknown numbers and want to stop receiving unwanted calls.

Unmasking the Deceptive Practice of Caller ID Spoofing

Using Caller ID spoofing can also be a way to exploit premium rate numbers. These numbers are intended to charge callers high fees, with the charges being divided between the phone company and the service provider. Scammers, in particular, act as the “service provider” and receive a portion of the call’s cost. The problem is that these numbers often appear as ordinary mobile numbers, making it challenging to differentiate them from legitimate calls.

However, not every call from an unfamiliar number is deceptive. Sometimes, it might be a telemarketer or a business conducting a survey. To help identify these callers, whocall.co.uk maintains a compilation of frequently reported spam or scam numbers that are currently active.

Beware of Missed Calls and Unknown Numbers Starting with “09”

Have you ever come across a “missed call” on your phone that you have no recollection of? Surprisingly, your phone didn’t ring at all. What’s more, the calling number had an unusual beginning with “09.” These calls are often linked to premium numbers, which means they can cost you quite a bit.

Here’s the strange part: the person on the other end of the line might seem extremely familiar, but they are not someone you know. And when you try to call back, a computerized voice prompt asks you to dial a different number, usually starting with “09,” alongside the call charges. This whole scenario might sound puzzling and potentially concerning, but worry not! I’m here to guide you on how to protect yourself from scams that use missed calls and text messages from unfamiliar numbers. It’s advisable to refrain from returning these messages or missed calls from unfamiliar phone numbers.

Take caution when you come across a phone number that starts with “09.” These numbers are generally sold at a high rate and can turn out to be quite costly. Similarly, when it comes to SMS or MMS, watch out for numbers that begin with “09.” These messages are charged at a premium rate, so it’s important to stay vigilant.

By staying alert and adopting these preventive measures, you can safeguard yourself from potential frauds associated with missing calls and messages from unknown callers.

Geographic Phone Numbers

Costs associated with making phone calls vary depending on the type of number you are dialing. When dialing from a landline, calls to 01 and 02 numbers typically incur charges of up to 9p per minute. However, dialing these numbers from a mobile phone can cost anywhere between 3p and 40p per minute, depending on the specific calling plan. The numbers 01 and 02 correspond to different regions within the United Kingdom, and they are typically utilized by households and businesses. Landline calls may also include a call set-up fee, and call rates can vary depending on the time of day. Meanwhile, mobile providers often offer call bundles for specific periods of the day.

09 Premium Numbers

These digits have various applications, mainly for contests, TV polls, astrological predictions, live chats, adult services, and technical customer support. The prices typically range from 9p to £1.69 per minute when called from a BT landline (other landlines can be as high as £2.60 per minute) or between £50p and £2.50 per minute when dialed from mobile phones.

07 Mobile Numbers

At first glance, the phone numbers beginning with 070 might seem like regular cell phone numbers. However, they are actually unique and may end up being more expensive. These particular mobile phone numbers are often utilized by small businesses and independent contractors who wish to avoid sharing their personal phone number. Nonetheless, PhonepayPlus has the authority to investigate any services associated with these numbers if they are discovered to be misused. If the call costs exceed 10p per minute, action may be taken.

Other Numbers

Mobile text short codes are convenient five or six-digit numbers that often start with 5, 6, 7, or 8. These codes are commonly used for various applications such as paying for additional content, donating to charities, joining tournaments, and buying games and ringtones. You may come across these numbers in advertisements that prompt you to text a specific phrase or respond to promotional messages immediately.

When it comes to directory inquiries, numbers starting with 118 are used. These services involve a connection charge (ranging from 50p to £4) and a charge for each minute of usage (typically around £5 per minute).

For customer service lines like technical support, chat lines, tarot/horoscope lines, and sales/booking lines, you will often find numbers beginning with 0871, 0872, or 0873. From a BT landline, the cost can vary between 11p and 15p per minute, while from mobiles, it can range from 20p to 41p per minute. Calling these 087 numbers consists of two components: an access fee payable to the telephone provider. To see a full list of UK area codes, click here.

More Information

To inquire about your fees, the first step is to contact the organization that manages the service. You can find their contact information using our phone number search database or by reaching out to the mobile provider.

SMS and trivia fraud refers to scams where you receive text messages offering amazing rewards for participating in contests or quizzes. These messages may ask you to answer a series of questions to win. However, be cautious as scammers make money by charging high fees for the messages you send and receive. The initial questions may be easy, but the final ones could be extremely difficult or impossible to answer.

Here are some signs to watch out for:

  1. You receive a text message asking you to text back for a chance to win a prize.
  2. The message suggests participating in a quiz game via SMS to win rewards, and the first question might seem really simple.
  3. The message doesn’t provide instructions on how to stop receiving further messages.

To protect yourself from fraud:

  1. Use your judgment. If an offer seems too good to be true, it is probably a scam.
  2. Carefully read and understand the terms and conditions of any offers, especially if they seem unrealistic.
  3. Be aware of any subscription services you may have signed up for and know how to cancel them.
  4. Avoid responding to text messages or returning calls from unfamiliar numbers.
  5. Be cautious of numbers starting with 09, as they are premium rate numbers and can be costly. The same applies to numbers starting with 09 for SMS and MMS messages.
  6. Register yourself with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) so you can opt out of receiving unsolicited phone calls.
  7. If you have been a victim of SMS/Phone fraud, you can file a report with Action Fraud and notify the police.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Can I find out who called my phone?
    Yes, you can identify the caller by using a reverse phone lookup service or an online search engine like who-calls.me.uk. Simply enter the number into the search field to access information about the caller.
  2. How do I know if a caller is genuine?
    To check the legitimacy of a caller, you can utilize a phone lookup service or read user reviews online. Other people often share their experiences with specific numbers, which can help you determine if the caller is genuine. If you recognize the number or the caller provides information that only a legitimate source would know, the caller is likely genuine.
  3. Can your identity be stolen by someone calling you?
    You should be cautious when sharing personal and financial details over the phone, especially with unknown callers. Providing such information during an incoming call increases the risk of identity theft. Therefore, it is crucial to be vigilant when receiving calls from unfamiliar numbers and refrain from divulging any personal information.
  4. What happens if you answer a spam call?
    If you answer a spam call, the caller might attempt to sell you something or request personal information. To protect yourself from potential scams, it’s best not to engage with such calls and block the number. If you suspect a call is spam, check if your phone has a feature that identifies the caller or let the call go to voicemail.
  5. What happens if I call back a scammer?
    Calling back an unknown phone number, especially one believed to be associated with a scammer, can lead to unwanted consequences. You may become a target of scams or receive unwanted sales and marketing calls. Therefore, it is advisable to refrain from calling back suspicious numbers.
  6. Should I call back a missed call?
    If the number is from a recognized contact or someone you know, it is generally safe to call back. However, if the call is from an unknown source, it’s recommended to allow it to go to voicemail. You can always use a reverse phone number lookup to gather information about the caller if necessary.
  7. How do I find the UK area code based on the city name?
    To find the UK area code corresponding to a specific city name, you can use a search engine or consult a phone book. Enter the city name in the search field, and the results should provide you with the relevant area code.
  8. How do UK area codes function?
    UK area codes are used to identify the geographic location of a phone service. They typically start with a ‘0’ and are followed by one to four digits. The length of the area code may affect the length of the subsequent local phone number.
  9. How do I dial a UK number from abroad?
    To call a UK number from abroad, dial the international call prefix, which is usually ’00’. Then, enter the UK country code (44) followed by the area code (excluding the initial zero) and the local number. For example, if the UK number is 020 1234 5678, you would dial 00 44 20 1234 5678 from abroad.